Sequim’s girls took their first Olympic League loss of the season on Jan. 18 at the hands of the Port Angeles Roughriders, but may have taken an even bigger loss than the one on their record with an injury to star post Jayla Julmist.
Julmist fell awkwardly after trying to grab a rebound on the first play of the third quarter in the Wolves’ 64-42 loss to the Riders, and immediately was helped off the court and subbed out.
She did not return to their game, and her father, assistant coach Joclin Julmist, spent much of the third quarter checking on her right knee.
After the game, Wolves head coach Linsay Rapelje said that she was “very concerned” about Julmist’s knee going forward.
“She hurt her knee a little bit at the end of the second quarter and was debating whether or not to go back in,” she said. “She decided to try it, but the first time she jumped it was bad. It was really bad.”
The Wolves were down 33-25 when Julmist got hurt and had been keeping fairly even with Port Angeles for much of the game, but as Rapelje pointed out, losing Julmist — who already had 12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks — changed the whole dynamic for Sequim.
LeeAnn Raney stepped up off the bench and played well in the second half, scoring six points, but the team struggled to adapt to playing without Julmist, particularly with the Riders playing a physical, aggressive game.
“They were playing very physically out there,” Rapelje said. “(Jessica) Dietzman was getting hacked, we were getting hacked all over. We just didn’t handle it very well, and that’s why you saw us get erratic, especially in the second half (without Julmist).”
Typically when the Wolves are starting to struggle like they did in the second half against the Riders, they start looking for Julmist more often, but with her icing her knee on the bench that wasn’t an option, and the Wolves never quite got back into stride in the game. Sequims scored just 17 points the rest of the way.
Sinking the Bucs
The night before their loss to Port Angeles, the Wolves earned a dominant win at home over the Kingston Buccaneers, running away with an 87-42 win on Jan. 17.
“I’m excited for the whole team,” Rapelje said. “Everyone played well tonight, even our swing players (from junior varsity) played really well.”
Melissa Porter led the scoring on the night with 18 points, with Hope Glasser adding 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. Julmist earned her fifth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds, adding four blocks and three steals for good measure.
Dietzman chipped in 14 points with three steals of her own.
The Wolves had a distinct size advantage against Kingston and took full advantage of it, going inside to Glasser and Julmist regularly. When the Bucs would to try and lock them down, Porter and Dietzman would take advantage with drives and mid-range jumpers.
Porter was also lethal on fast breaks, drawing praise from Rapelje after the game.
“She’s really found her niche,” Rapelje said of Porter. “Once she got into her groove, she did really well. She was my player of the game tonight.”
The Wolves are set to head out on the road to face the North Mason Bulldogs (4-2 league record, 7-5 overall) on Jan. 22, then return for a four-game homestand starting with a game against the Bremerton Knights (0-7, 2-11) at 7 p.m. on Jan. 24.
Sequim then hosts the Kings Knights (3-0, 12-2) in a non-league game at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 before facing the North Kitsap Vikings (3-3, 6-8) at 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 31.
The Wolves host their final home game of the season against the Olympic Trojans at 7:15 p.m. on Feb. 4 before wrapping up the regular season against Port Angeles on Feb. 6.
With a top-four placing in the Olympic League, the Wolves can earn a spot in the West Central District 3 tournament starting Feb. 12.